"There’s a heavy pop rock lean to these songs, with soaring melodies that feel ready-made for a stadium-sized audience. Their otherworldly sound finds a kind of magic in little intricacies, like a piano note here or a whisper there. And when they break out into complete chaos, as with the finale of “Falling On Your Face”, it’s a strong force that pulls you in."
"This is a band that infuses every song with an immediacy and sense of importance that commands your attention, locking you into the surging dynamics, layers of sound and harmonies."
“Horror is a short step for the Seattle five-piece, which within its rumbling and frenetic pop songs has long entertained humanity’s darker side, with Chris Cunningham’s Costello-esque croon leading the way. Lately the band has unveiled a video aesthetic to match, first with the moving, impressionistic, nocturnal video for “Animals,” premiered at this year’s Sync Music Video Festival (set for a re-release later this fall), and earlier this summer in the anxiety-ridden scenes that accompany the band’s propulsive, synth-forward single “Alleyways.”
-Mark Baumgarten at Seattle Weekly
"At first blush, this new track from one of Seattle’s best live bands sounds like a major about-face. It’s tautly electric instead of darkly acoustic. Matt Badger’s drums are more coiled-tense and compact than rumbling and relentless. And keyboards—tinkling like broken glass and buzzing like fluorescent tube lights in hell—provide much of the melodic enforcement in lieu of Chris Cunningham’s expected wash of fiercely-strummed acoustic guitar. But spiritually, “Alleyways” is pure Ravenna Woods."
-TONY KAY at THE SUNBREAK
"“Alleyways” is the catchiest dance tune I’ve heard in good long while, and while I’m listening I feel like it’s reaching into my teenage soul and pulling out long-forgotten joys."
-THREE IMAGINARY GIRLS
"...a more cosmic kind of haunting."
-CITY ARTS MAGAZINE
Holy Fuck! Whose punk love children are these people? What part of this great land produces such Alt-R promise? Oh! They’re from here, the Pacific Northwest? I’ve been asleep. But now, I’m awake.
- INDIE STREET RADIO.COM
We’ve been thrilled to watch Ravenna Woods evolve into one of Seattle’s most unique, ambitious musical projects. The former-trio-now-quartet is set to release its third album, The Jackals, which frontman Chris Cunningham conceived while living in Kenya. The Jackals plays like a serious-weather day in Seattle, strong breezes blowing moods and melodies across a dim, mist-shrouded landscape. Cunningham, who also produced, introduces electronic elements and horns into the band’s usual aggro-coustic stomp; imagine Trent Reznor with a beard and acoustic guitar and you’re getting close.
-CITY ARTS MAGAZINE
It's a sound fraught with angry energy, yet suffused with moments of jaw-dropping beauty - folk music turned inside out by a pervasive current of eeriness and blasts of anthemic catharsis.
-THE SUN BREAK.COM
"The Jackals” is a carefully considered album that happens to sound like it was recorded in a dark cave somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula.
-THE SEATTLE TIMES
...it’s clear something is dark and foreboding in Ravenna Woods these days.
Local risers Ravenna Woods are proving that acoustic instruments in the Emerald City aren’t limited to pretty folk tunes.
-CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
"...haunting urban folk, full of eerie vocal harmonies, & spiraling fingerpicked guitar..."
Ravenna Woods rhythmic drum and acoustic guitar combo remind of when music was something more fundamental than entertainment. When music was a method of passing on traditions and knowledge to the next generation. A means of expressing discontent. When beats summoned warriors to fight. When music was a holy ritual.
-SOUND ON THE SOUND
The group's drum-driven sound is spare and rhythmic, punctuated by harmonic howls and whoops. Sometimes it calls to mind a native pow-wow; sometimes, a soundtrack to a spooky movie.
-THE SEATTLE TIMES
Chris Cunningham is such a hurricane on stage, I feared for his band mates’ gear. At times it seemed Cunningham was inches from pulverizing drummer Matt Badger’s kit. Sweat flew, xylophones tinked and toms boomed. Ravenna Woods just put on the best show of Saturday (Capitol Hill Block Party 2011) so far.
On their new album, Valley of the Headless Men, the band's songwriting is even more impressive. And have they stopped being so pissed? Nope. Dudes still want to fight. I love it.
– The Stranger
Longtime KEXP listeners and Seattle locals are already familiar with the dark, punk-leaning acoustic folk group Ravenna Woods. The fast favorites have released two acclaimed albums, the most recent of which saw the group get a little more playful with the addition of keyboards. You probably won’t be able to catch the rising stars for free for very long...
The last time I saw Ravenna Woods, I was picking my jaw up off of the floor of the Level 3 EMP stage at Bumbershoot this past September.
…instead of singing words about the snow and birds and shit, the lyrics in their tightly structured tunes evoke darker images of things like headless men and the desire to shoot someone in the face.
The Portland Mercury
Seattle locals Ravenna Woods are the kind of band that stands up to drum and doesn't stand down for much. Backing their politically-driven bark and howl is a sound along the lines of Local Natives or The Dodos with even more feverish rhythms and fast-flying acoustic guitar. They've got so much wild urgency it's unbelievable...